All In A (Summer) Day

What better thing to do on a subzero Montana day than look at some images from summer?  My motives?  Maybe it's just a longing for the warmth, sunshine, green grass of summer.  But wait, there's ...... snow in the photos too?  Just like in February.  Only these were taken in August.

There is an old saying.  If you don't like the weather in Montana.....wait five minutes. These photos were taken on the same day, over roughly a twelve hour span.  The lesson for all?  Be prepared if you venture into the Montana high country, even in summer.

It was crisp, fall-like when I hit the trail in the morning.  One thing that I learned long ago, always pack gloves, regardless of the season.  The wool mitts felt good and took the chill off of the handles of the hiking poles.  They would prove necessary, as would most of the clothing that I'd packed.  It would soon be donned in order to stay warm and dry.

This particular day didn't take long to turn gray.  The gray soon turned to spit.  No big deal.  Just a passing squall. Summer, right?  By the time I'd begun to pick up elevation between Spanish Creek and Mirror Lake, a few errant flakes were mixed in.  From Mirror to Summit Lake it dumped snow.  

Later that same day...........

Gallatin Peak, Thompson Lake, Spanish Peaks, Montana

When I hiked out the next day, summer had returned.  It was back up to ninety degrees when I pulled off my pack at the trailhead.  I'd have given anything for a snowflake.


  1. The photos warm the heart, Les, so thanks for that. Surprised that you're at sub-zero? though, after those relatively warm days you've been enjoying. It all reminds me of a visit to Yellowstone in August one time when we drove through a white-out coming back from the Tetons. And tonight another snowstorm is plowing through western NY. I do believe that spring will be a lovely riot this year.

    1. Well Walt they warm my heart too. Especially the bright flowers. The sight and thought of an unfrozen lake isn't too bad either.

      You guys have sure had a lot of snow. Meanwhile, we dodged a bullet and got off easy in January. This cold snap should blow through pretty quick. Ten to twenty below is a lot easier to handle when it only lasts a few days.

  2. Just for posterity. Thirteen below, and this at 11 a.m. I'm sure it was quite a bit colder last night. The bright sunshine belies the cold. As per usual, the light on cold clear days is stunning. It makes the snow look like whipped egg whites. Bring on the greens of August!

  3. Lester
    Absolute stunning images, you are one lucky guy---hope spring shows up for you soon out that way ---thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks Bill. Luckier some days than others. In the last photo, I watched a small packstring of horses come through the pass. Pretty neat way to end the day.


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